Had a few moments of down time today, so figured I would take some of the trademark “Con Hotel” pictures of the 15 figure boxed set and talk a little bit more about the details of some of the figures within (good and bad).
First and foremost, we have the Iron Grenadiers. By and large, I’m actually more impressed with the IG figures in person than I was online. There is much less contrast between the brown legs and the rest of the figure than there was in the official images we saw from the Collectors’ Club. The yellow is also a lot more subdued, looking a lot more gold here, which is a good thing. I’m going to spend the rest of this post talking specifically figure by figure, so click the Read the Rest of the Story link below to see all of my initial, early thoughts.
- The darker purple of his uniform works a lot better in hand than the press photos showed as well, and I love his gold machine gun. Unfortunately his helmet does get a little squished in the accessory bag and rides somewhat high on his head. I’m thinking with a little hot water and some TLC that problem can be resolved, but out of the box, I was a bit disappointed in this end result. Also I found it very difficult to get his hand crammed in that machine gun handle to hold the weapon well. I know when this gun was originally used for Resolute Destro it seemed as if Destro’s hands had been sculpted around the handle of the gun and worked perfectly, but other hands are not so lucky. I was able to get it to work, just took a bit of trial and error.
Iron Grenadier Heavy Weapons
- These figures look spectacular. The Resolute Destro parts work amazingly well on this figure and his weapons are cool as well. The heavy machine gun is a bit old school, but I love the colors, I love the parts choices and the painted Destro crest on the jacket is fantastic.
Iron Grenadiers Elite Guards
- Really happy to see the Arctic Cobra Commander tooling that so many of us may never see first hand, and it’s used nicely here, too. Again, like the other figures, the color contrast in person is not as dramatic as the photos made it out to be. I am not at all crazy about his weapons, though. The weird Resolute Cobra Trooper grenade launcher does nothing for me, and the Cobra Commander pistols are fine, just not all that exciting. Nothing dramatically wrong with this figure, and it comes across much better in person, but compared to some other stellar entries in the set, leaves me a bit cold on the outset.
Iron Grenadiers Elite Troopers
- As we get further and further away from the 25th Anniversary era of figure design, the issues with some of those figures become more and more apparent. The stubby, reduced movement arms of the original Cobra Commander seem especially out of place here with so many modern parts. I think this figure is probably my least favorite of the entire boxed set. The Resolute Cobra Commander looks striking and was a great plastic representation of that particular character, and the look works pretty nicely here, but the functionality and articulation issues just end up a bit more glaring compared to some other figures in this set. Like the other figures, the contrast between the brown and the gray is not as bad as photos would dictate, and the accessories (calling back to the original Iron Grenadiers) are very nice, but a figure that doesn’t have me extremely excited.
Now, in contrast to the Iron Grenadiers, the Oktober Guard figures went whole hog it seems to me. Tons of original tooling, lots of creative use of parts and a team layout that works amazingly well.
General Iron Bear
- Any doubts about who’s head sculpt this is went right out the window when I got this figure in hand. Without a doubt, this is Derryl DePriest in 4″ form, and the likeness is almost scary. I had to put this figure back in the box last night for fear that Derryl would stand on my nightstand and watch me sleep. Yikes. In all seriousness, though, this figure really is pretty great. The hat does not stay on very well, which is a disappointment, but I’m a big fan of the Resolute Arctic Duke figure, and the parts work exceptionally well here, too. The head sculpt has a ton of character and seeing the way this guy was used in the story makes me enjoy him all the more. The paint applications are fantastic with a bunch of hidden detail and a great paint scheme. He’s got pretty neat accessories, too, and he can hold his machine gun remarkably well with those hands. If I have any complaints it is that the head almost looks just a little bit small on that body, but that is a pretty minor issue for what is an extremely nice looking figure overall.
- This figure was one that I thought was neat, but not mind-blowing, and that opinion has changed completely. He has quickly become one of my favorite figures in this set. His hat works really well, his face has a ton of character, and the parts combinations are fantastic. I didn’t realize he used the Cobra Shock Trooper upper arms, and you end up with some great range of motion there. He has an almost perfect compliment of accessories with some great machine guns, a pistol that fits nicely into his holster, and enough added detail to make the figure really “pop”. LOVE this guy.
- Another terrific figure. Using mainly the 5-Pack Lady Jaye body from the end of the 25th Anniversary line (with a great new head sculpt) she has terrific articulation and a downright amazing paint scheme. The intricate camouflage looks just as nice in person as it did in pictures, and her hat actually fits really nicely, even though it ended up squished in the baggie (like Voltar’s). She has her requisite Drugonov sniper rifle and AK-47 machine gun and a very nice backpack as well. Cannot find a single thing to complain about here, although I do wish Hasbro would sculpt up a larger, better Drugonov as I’m sure they could do something much better than what we saw with the original 25th Anniversary Cobra Trooper.
- A very nice figure here, too. Not perfect, but very nice. The new head sculpt looks great, though it also seems a little small and does not fit seamlessly on the larger neck peg. He has some trouble looking down. While I was a bit nervous when I saw the Blowtorch forearms and hands, those worries were completely negated by the use of the Renegades Air-Viper upper arms (I’m sure they were used elsewhere, too, but that’s the most recognizable use I can think of). This combination gives him exceptionally nice range of motion and he can hold his weapons really, really well. That’s an important part of an infantry figure. He’s got great colors, nice paint apps all over, and is a very, very solid figure. Lacks some of the stellar features of some of the other figures in this set, but no major complaints either. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. Like Voltar’s helmet, his backpack was squished in the accessory bag, resulting in a severely bent backpack peg. I’ve tried bending it back, but it still is pretty tough to get on the figure and not have it crooked, which is frustrating. Another issue that would be easily solved with some hot water and TLC, though.
- A fantastic figure that could have been perfect merely by adding some brown paint to his kneepads. That would have tied the figure all together nicely with the textured shoulder pads and elbow pads, but I can see how that extra paint application might have killed the budget. It may seem like a small thing to us, but I think we would be surprised at how much money a single paint app can cost and yes, it could potentially break the budget on a particular figure. Beyond that minor complaint, this figure is nearly perfect. A terrific head sculpt, great figure parts, the character ends up looking large and imposing, yet still doesn’t tower over Horror Show (as he shouldn’t). The City Strike Destro arms and the Shadow Tracker legs do wonders for the figure, giving him some size and bulk, yet maintaining some nice range of motion. I do wish he had a separate trigger finger to better hold his weapons, though. His primary gun throughout the comics does resemble the Stoner machine gun that he comes with, but with the trigger guard, he cannot get a realistic hold on the weapon, and that is a minor complaint. Like Schrage his backpack peg ended smushed as well, which seems like something that is an issue throughout this entire set.
- Last but certainly not least this is a character that is almost impossible to capture well because of his added bulk, height, and just the nature of the character, but the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club managed to do a terrific job getting the figure in character and with the size he needs. Using the Shadow Tracker torso and vest works really nicely to make him look broad chested and imposing without having to invest in costly new tooling that would have certainly negatively impacted the rest of the convention offerings. The new head sculpt is terrific and is a flawless representation of the Horror Show character we all know from the comic and from his few appearances in the Sunbow animated series. I love his accessories, I love the color pallet, and the overall presentation of the figure is terrific. But there are a few issues. First and foremost, for whatever reason the Club elected to use Shadow Tracker upper legs with the Resolute Roadblock lower legs. I don’t know if this was because of parts availability, cost, or simply trying to make the figure taller, but unfortunately the two different legs don’t mesh seamlessly together. The articulation is still fine, but they don’t straighten out quite all the way and the texture isn’t as consistent from hip-to-ankle as I would have liked to have seen. Not to mention the Shadow Tracker upper legs have the top half of Shadow Tracker’s kneepads, which are suddenly interrupted by the additional kneepads over them and it just doesn’t work all that well. Beyond that relatively minor complaint, though, the figure is pretty great and I am thrilled that the Collectors’ Club found a way to include him in this set, even if it took some creative parts usage to do it. His rocket launcher is fantastic, I love that machine gun, and aside from the rigid plastic skirt impeding his hip motion, his articulation is nice. Again, like Schrage and Stormavik, his backpack ended up with a bent peg because of the baggie, which is a real shame, though nothing a little hot water can’t solve.
All in all… I am exceedingly happy with what I’ve seen so far. The Oktober Guard figures are top-to-bottom fantastic, with only a few minor parts compatibility issues that can probably be mostly resolved with very little effort. The Iron Grenadiers are very nice, too, but mostly seem like decent compliments to the stellar Oktober Guard offerings. I want to love Voltar so much and for the most part I do, but the helmet is a bit disappointing. We’ll see how much my opinion changes once I can get it home with some hot water. Check out some images below.